2007-05-15 22:15:23

ETH Zurich in "concurrence" with EPFL?

The ETH Zurich is still looking for a new President. So far they have refused every single candidate. The council of the ETH is now being critizised. Not because people fear a vacuum of innovation – but because they fear losing ground in the competition with the EPFL. Some even claim that the President of the EPFL, Patrick Aebischer, is building his EPFL on the expense of the ETH Zurich.

The question remains what a cruel world we're living in when two of the best technical universities on the continent are pestering each other in trying to compete with each other. The main purposes of these universities ought to be to educate students.

Also, the EPFL is a swiss french university, where all lessons are held either in french or in english. It is very unlikely for someone to pass the EPFL if he or she is not capable of speaking french. The ETH Zurich, on the other hand, is a swiss german university. It would therefor be a likely assumption that there is only a small fraction of the swiss population who would actually be equally well off on both universities.

But it appears that the people of the ETH Zurich want their university to be the only true swiss polytechnical university. It's the same sad story of swiss german cultural imperialism that can be observed in most areas of daily life. Hopefully, at some point, we can agree to just live next to each other without any attempts to conquer each other. But it appears that this situation has become more unlikely in the past.

Until a couple of decades ago, it was a normal proceeding for every swiss german adolescent to spend a couple of years in the french-speaking part of Switzerland. It was a necessary step to get one's education degree, and to become an adult. Equally, every swiss french adolescent had to spend a couple of years of his education in the german speaking part of Switzerland. But it seems that this tradition is extinct nowadays. This and a lot of other things serve to make the Rösti rift deeper than ever.

The whole story can be found at http://www.nzz.ch/2007/05/13/il/articleF6FJP.html.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: general, politics